A good friend of mine, multi-million album selling singer Matt Goss, said it best to me one day over 4 years ago. “There would be no Memorial Day or Independence Day without Veteran’s Day”. Truer words have never been spoken. If there weren’t Veterans to thank, then none of them would have given their lives for this country, hence Memorial Day. Without Veterans we would not have ever obtained out country’s freedom in order to have independence.
Which means that every single person, US Citizen or not, that has ever enjoyed the freedoms, benefits and luxuries of living in America owes a thanks to all Veterans that have ever served honorably. Veteran’s from Washington’s Army to DOD today and beyond. Without Veteran’s ensuring our security and freedoms we would be speaking the Queen’s English, German, Russian or who knows what.
When Matt and I worked out a special Veteran’s Day event at his show in Las Vegas with the support from Caesar’s Entertainment Group in 2011, it was the goal to try and start a movement to make Veteran’s Day as important in this country as it is Canada, United Kingdom and many other countries in Europe. In many other countries, the holiday originally known as Armistice Day is a major event, unlike here in the USA. If any country should have it be a major event, it is the USA which has been in more distinct wars in the last 200+ years than any other country. Our Veterans have volunteered to step into the line of fire, and shed blood when doing so more than any others. Our Veterans have stood guard in places like Kosovo, Sinai, the Korean DMZ, Berlin, Kuwait, Djibouti, Philippines, and all over the world ready for everything. All the while never having to fire a round in anger but serving as ambassadors for peace and freedom.
So Matt and I both felt and still do today that the holiday and event should be more than a free meal or 10% off at your favorite store. In Australia the kids and grandkids of veterans march in parades at their schools wearing the medals of their parents and relatives. Scouts dress up and the whole focus is on the Veterans and those that were willing to sacrifice their lives for the country and of course the ones that ended up having to do so.
St. Patty’s Day is all about drinking as is New Years, Christmas is all about the shopping and gifts, Halloween is all about the candy and dressing up, Independence Day is all about putting on the token flag shirt and going to watch fireworks. So let me ask you, when you think of Veteran’s Day, what is it about?
Lately to me is seems like it is all about a list of restaurants and other businesses offering free food and services from a limited list of choices and sadly that seems to be it. There are no poppies worn, traditions of taking out the elders who are vets for a quality family time, etc. How can we be such a proud country, a country of unlimited yellow ribbon magnets and “USA, USA” chants when an enemy like Bin Laden is killed or National Anthems and flyovers before major sporting events, but we are not a country that recognizes every single bit of that would not be possible if it were not for the Veterans that provided the ability to do all of these things. How soon we forget the pride and respect our country had in late 2001-2003.
So what do I think Veteran’s Day should mean to this county? I think it should mean everything and be the most important holiday in our calendar year.